If you and your partner have children and decide to separate or divorce, one of you may be liable to pay child support. The level of child support you have to pay will depend on a wide range of factors, including your and your partner’s income and financial situation.
Since child support matters can be complex, they are sometimes taken to a family court. If this happens to you, you should consider employing a family lawyer to make sure that the court’s decision is fair and impartial.
How Is The Amount Of Child Support I Have To Pay Determined?
There are a number of different ways to decide how much child support has to be paid for your children. These include:
Informal arrangements – If the parents split on good terms, they may be able to come to an informal arrangement that they are both happy with. This is probably the easiest way to do things, as it results in a friendly relationship and reduces the costs associated with third parties.
Formal arrangements – Similar to informal arrangements, both parents can agree on formal child support arrangements if they want to.
Department of Human Services child support assessment – The department of human services will determine how much you or your partner should pay in child support according to a complex formula. This will take into account your income, the costs of raising your children and how long the children spend in each parents care.
In a family court – In some cases, you may be able to take your child support matters to a family court to have them dealt with. If this happens, you should always consult a family lawyer for professional legal advice.
What Sort Of Things Determine The Amount Of Child Support I Have To Pay?
There are a wide range of factors that will be taken into account when determining how much child support you need to pay, meaning that it’s impossible to estimate exactly how much you have to pay without knowing your exact circumstances. These factors include:
- The income of you and your former partner.
- Any other dependants in the care of you or your former partner.
- How long your child stays with you and your former partner.
- Who covers major costs (school fees, healthcare, etc…).
- Basic living costs of both you and your former partner.
As you can imagine, these calculations can become complicated, which is why it’s always recommended to get at least some legal advice when working out how much child support you and your former partner should be paying.
Wherever possible, the easiest thing to do is to come to an informal agreement between both parties. If necessary, you can apply for an assessment by the Department of Human Services. As a last resort, you might have to attend a family court and let them help you determine who owes who how much child support.